While many are spending more time outside or by the pool during the holiday week, there are a few things to keep in mind. Sun safety is front and center because over the course of your lifetime, you have a 20 percent risk of developing skin cancer.
Enjoying time outside safely means planning your time around the middle of the day when the sun has more direct energy into the skin.
Sunscreen is for everyone. You should look for broad spectrum to protect against UVA and UVB rays. You should also check to be sure the sunscreen is water resistant.
When it comes to the sun protection factor or SPF, medical experts recommend somewhere between SPF 20 and 50. The SPF is the number that gives you an idea of how long you can stay in the sun while using that particular product.
Dr. Mike Patrick, who is an emergency medicine expert at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, said an SPF over 50 is not necessary.
“Once you get above 50, it probably doesn't add that much protection given the cost of the product,” he said.
The doctor reiterated that people with darker skin have more pigment and more natural protection, but they are still at risk for skin cancer. The best advice is to use a sunscreen with a lower SPF.
The American Academy of Dermatology says people should apply enough sunscreen to cover all exposed skin. Most adults need about one ounce — or enough to fill a shot glass.
Don't forget your ears, back of the neck — anywhere you burned last year just to be safe.